Well, it’s been a while…. a LONG while. my life has changed but not 100% for the better.
Heres whats been happening…..
I lost weight, i gained it back, i lost weight, I gained it back….it brought a few friends…
THe last year or so has been tough, I am really wanting to lose weight… I am not aiming at being a skinny guy, I am aiming to be a pudgy guy! I have to admit weight watchers wasn’t working for “quick weight loss” but it WAS working at keeping me eating healthier and happier. My problem is “little cheats” that add up to a BIG CHEAT and then I feel like a failure. I am not an idiot… I know that stopping for 2 Teen Burgers at A&W does NOT make a healthy lunch, and i tell myself that, right up until I place my order…. I know I should be eating the Spinach in the fridge with a low fat dressing, but those cheeze crunchits are soooo good… It’s about willpower, not understanding.
Anyways, it all came to a head about 3 months back. I woke up, and my left hand was asleep… it happens, you sleep on it, it was mostly my thumb and a little of my first finger. THen when i got up to make breakfast, I was chewing my cereal, and the left side of my mouth was asleep… that one was weird. I became a little concerned… So I went to “Dr.Google” which generally equates to a crackpot doctor saying “You got a headache? might be cancer… or maybe poisonous spiders have started nesting in your ears” I looked up the tests for a stroke… The FAST acronym, Face (i could smile and frown) Arms (no noticeable loss in arm strength) Speech (I was talking fine) and Time (get your ass to a hospital!) Well since that didn’t seem to be it, I read about the onset of Diabetes, I am a big guy,so the idea of being diabetic isn’t a huge shock to me… what i read was “eat some carbs, if it is an insulin issue, that might help” I finished my bowl of cereal, grabbed a granola bar and a handful of chocolate chips (quick sugar/carb) and headed to work. Got there, ate my granola bar, ate some chocolate and the numbness persisted. After a few hours (yeah i know… hindsight) My thumb and finger was now thumb and 2 fingers… and my numb mouth was getting worse, half my tongue was asleep.
FInally listening to the alarm bells in my head i decided to go to the walk in clinic near work… I had made a doctor’s appointment, but it wasn’t going to be for a day or 2, and I was getting worried… this walk in clinic was usually pretty quick.
A QUICK RANT ABOUT WALK IN CLINICS.:
They are terrible… let me rephrase that, they CAN BE terrible…. I’ve gone to good ones and bad ones, but part of the problem is that the Secretary staff checking you in ISN’T A NURSE OR DOCTOR. There is no triage, they don’t re-organize patients based on need. it’s first come first served. which is fine for a runny nose, or a note for work, but in medical “situations” get your ass to the ER.. you might end up waiting a few hours if you need a little stitch or a doctor’s note (low priority) but if you have a serious issue they figure that out right away and you are put at the top of the list.
Anyways, the clinic was NOT fast this time, it was very slow… I waited 2 hours to see the doctor (During which time 4 drug reps had meetings with doctors in this clinic… time that could have been used to TREAT PEOPLE!) the doctor sees me, looks me over and says it was a mistake to go there, I should probably have gone to a hospital, he didn’t take my blood pressure, didn’t ask me to smile frown look up or down or demonstrate hand strength… just “you should have gone to an ER, give them this note” and off i went. He asked how I was getting there, me in my denim with a motorcycle helmet in my hands… I told him I’d ride to which he responded “I don’t know if I recommend that” I told him I had no other option. He asked if I had any aspirin I said no he said if I had some i should take some. I said ok and i left… I looked at the note, and it was messy gibberish but i eventually read “possible stroke” within its myriad of sloppy penmanship. I figure “I read aspirin was good in these cases” and stopped in the grocery store (the clinic was attached to a Great Canadian Superstore) and bought some aspirin… THen I drove home, and decided to shower and change before the doctor, no use sitting around a waiting room sweaty and messy.. FInally I took the TTC to the hospital.
I walked into emerg, there was nobody there.
It was empty, 2 nurses, 1 other patient, if I had gone there I wouldn’t have waited a minute let alone 2 hours… grrrrr.
I talked to the nice nurse, she smiled, asked how I was doing, I told her I was a little numb on one side, she IMMEDIATELY had me look up, look down, smile, tested my strength, all while talking to me (stroke tests) and then took my blood pressure.
She calmly pointed out that i should go to the check in desk, and she would have a gurney ready for me AS SOON AS I WAS DONE. I was like “ok, sure” went and checked in (which took less time than checking in at the Walk in clinic) and was ushered to Emergency care. The Doctor on call came over and said they would be giving me a couple meds straight away. then i was told to lay down and be as calm as possible… the hooked me up to a whole bunch of machines and i was told “this will probably take at least a few days.. try to stay calm” I was as calm as usual, I texted Cara, and let her know that I might not be home, and she should probably stop at home before coming to see me (hahaha riiiiight, she rushed over right after work) THey tried a few meds, and I was told there was zero chance of this being a one night stay. Cara hung out with me (she was very distraught, and spent every free moment going outside to update our families) and left later at night… I tried to sleep, but a busy emergency ward is not the most restful place for a snooze. There are many stories, funny and sad about that night, but let’s just say it was not restful and leave it at that.
Next morning Cara showed up ,I was surprised, as I had told her to go to work, that I’d be ok… of course her employers were nice enough to say “GO BE WITH HIM” and gave her a taxi credit for a rush hour cab ride from uptown Toronto to Scarborough General! She stopped at home and got me a pillow (wonderful lady) since they didn’t have them in the Emergency dept. THey brought me for an echo cardiogram, and did a scan on my neck as well, then I had to go for a cat scan and finally i was brought to a regular room. I was on a few meds now, and my blood pressure was still high, but not “OH MY GOD” high. Cara had bought me a roast beef sandwich at the coffee shop downstairs, since it looked like I missed lunch (and breakfast) that day. as I tried to eat it, I realized there were some lasting effects from my incident, left hand still numb, and my mouth and tongue were so numb it was really hard to eat the sandwich! I couldn’t feel my tongue, and bit it a few times… also my taste buds must have stayed asleep because i could barely taste anything. spent 2 more days in the hospital, they were very nice to me.
ANOTHER QUICK RANT: BE NICE TO NURSES!
My mother always said to be nice to the nurses in hospital, and it’s something I have lived every time I have had a stay… I see people treat doctors with such respect, and then yell at nurses for the smallest issue…. Look at it this way, that doctor comes by your room what? two times a day? quick chat and gone…. THose nurses you are yelling at? THey CONTROL YOUR LIFE… when you eat when you can get up, when you get medication…. THey are there all day and all night… and THAT’S who people choose to yell at???? Take my advice, be nice to your nurses, tell a joke if you are able, smile when you can, and say please and thank you… it leads to a much better stay.
Anyways, I got out of the hospital, figured “I’ve been in bed for 3 days, we can take the bus home, I don’t need a cab! and we can stop for groceries too!” We made it to the grocery store I got a few things and we went to the drug store to get my prescriptions, and I was ready to pass out! Cara walked me home, sat me on the couch and went back for some lunch and my prescriptions. She truly is a wonderful woman… I am lucky to have her in my life.
So I was going to make this an EVEN LONGER post, but I think i need to break it up, nobody wants to read about my boring ass life for an hour at a time… My next update will cover my recovery trials and tribulations and “THE COMING SHIFT” oooooOoOoooooooOOO!